Prior to the acquisition of Uniqema, I worked as an expert on elastomers, composites and foams from 2000 to 2007. After the acquisition, I worked as a Technical Service Manager for sales of polymerised fatty acid based products in Asia Pacific for use in mainly coatings, adhesives and elastomers. I learned a lot about these other market segments and working with customers across the whole of Asia. Though UK based, I did a lot of travelling to Asia which was a fascinating experience both professionally and personally.
In May 2008, I was given the opportunity to move to Singapore, where I was responsible for business development, technical service and marketing of Croda’s Coatings & Polymers business in Asia Pacific with similar responsibility for the Lubricants Business in South East Asia, Australia and India from Jan 2010. This role was more commercial in nature, leading sales colleagues’ activities throughout the region, resulting in appropriate focus on strategic market segments and technologies. This really developed my influencing skills and we successfully launched and commercialised many new technologies with customers. It was great to get the exposure to Lubricants, learning more about another aspect of our business.
Having spent some time in some fairly commercial roles, I fancied a move into R&D. This resulted in me taking on my first major management role – I was responsible for managing four teams of scientists. I was in charge of new product development, applications research, technical service and product validation / claims substantiation for Croda Singapore's Personal Care and Industrial Specialities businesses. Having worked in the industrial arena in my career to this point, it was challenging, but fun and exciting to be spending a lot of my time working in our Personal Care business.
This role was a more strategic position, with direct responsibility for R&D in Singapore and coordinating R&D activities across the region (also centres in India, Japan and China). I also work closely with my R&D colleagues across the rest of the world.
I was delighted to move into my current role last year, returning to my roots in Croda’s industrial markets. My current job in more focused, providing R&T leadership for these businesses in Asia. As well as Singapore, I am now directly responsible for teams of scientists based in India and China, which has been a great experience. A key part of my job is to develop the technical capability of the region to enable greater regional self-sufficiency (with new laboratories in China, India, Indonesia and Singapore) and more intimate customer support. I am working very closely with Croda’s global businesses to develop strategy and ensure their R&T needs in Asia are fulfilled. This new role has also enabled me to spend a significant amount of time on open innovation, which is becoming increasingly important to the business as we look to the future.